Amare is going get moved this month – here’s why:
- Phoenix can win almost as many games without Amare as they can with him. If you saw Phoenix and Dallas play last Thursday, you know that Phoenix has a bunch of scrappy young athletic bigs that can shoot and finish. I’m not saying they’re better without Amare – no chance – but they’re not much worse is he leaves town.
- Phoenix could lose Amare this summer for nothing.
- Phoenix can’t afford Amare if he decides not to opt out. Phoenix needs Amare off the books this summer if they want to make some moves and make their team better without going over the luxury cap.
- Phoenix can still get under the luxury cap. If Phoenix can trade for a talented young PF while also reducing salary by about $3 million (possible), they might consider trading Channing Frye to a team with a trade exception (hello Nuggets!) to get under the cap. This would be HUGE financially.
Here’s the trick for Phoenix: whatever move Phoenix makes, it has to be viewed as part of a bigger plan to get better. If Steve Nash decides Phoenix is throwing in the towel and asks for a trade, Phoenix becomes a less talented version of the Golden State Warriors. Here are the possibilities:
Amare To Chicago
Chicago can offer Phoenix a great package in terms of talent: Hinrich & Tyrus Thomas for Amare would make Phoenix deeper, allow J-Rich to move to SF, and give Phoenix a reasonable way to rest Nash while Dragic rounds into form. I’d also guess that T.Thomas would look good playing next to Steve Nash (sort of like a young Amare).
However, I don’t think Chicago is interested in trading for Amare right now. Unless it becomes clear to Chicago that they have no chance of signing D-Wade or Bosh this summer, I think they’ll sit on their hands and see what happens. Chicago can always bid on Amare this summer.
Besides, Chicago has been playing well lately. Why break-up a team that might sneak into the 2nd round?
Amare to NJ
The Nets have the right combo for Phoenix: Yi Jianlin (good young talent), expiring contracts, a first round draft pick, and a way to move Phoenix out of the luxury tax this season.
Why it works for Phoenix:
- Yi’s potential is something Phoenix can probably sell to fans and Steve Nash
- A trade of Yi, Battie, and Simmons for Amare and Jarron Collins saves Phoenix $3.8 million in salary. Phoenix could then dump Frye OR pay someone to take Dooling off their hands and get out of tax territory.
Why it works for NJ:
- Bosh, Lebron, and D-Wade aren’t even going to consider NJ if they finish with the worst record of all time. Amare is the consolation prize (and not a bad one at that).
- If NJ trades for Amare and he opts out, NJ is still the most likely to sign him.
- NJ has enough cap space to extend Amare and still be a player in free agency this summer.
- Trading for Amare is the easiest way to end the nightmare for NJ’s fans. He would help them win enough games to avoid the worst record of all time, yet not so many that they would wreck their chances at the 1st overall draft pick.
Amare to Miami
Miami is a long-shot to land Amare simply because they won’t part with Beasley, they don’t have “extra” draft picks sitting around like NJ, and they can’t make a deal that saves Phoenix a lot of money. Trading for Amare would also mean that Miami losses any hope of signing Bosh this summer.
Miami is going to wait for a shot at signing Bosh, and they should.
Amare to Cleveland
Cleveland might offer Phoenix Big-Z and JJ Hickson + filler and a very late first-round pick…but this probably won’t happen.
- This deal isn’t that great for Phoenix – they can probably do better in terms of talent.
- Cleveland is taking an awful risk. If Amare doesn’t opt out, Cleveland won’t be able to take a run at Chris Bosh.
- Cleveland doesn’t need to make a change right now. They’re arguably the best or 2nd best team in the league.
Amare to Golden State
Who knows on this one. Nellie is irrational, the Warriors don’t have a long-term plan, and it’s impossible to read the management in Golden State. However, Phoenix would be hard-pressed to turn down a package that included Biedrins, one of Golden State’s talented youngsters, a draft pick, and a possible reunion with Raja Bell. If Golden State wants Amare, they can get him…but there’s no clear indication that they really want him.